Article recommendations! (and musings)

I admit, this is a bit of a “cheat week” for me. I promised myself that I would blog once a week, but inspiration escapes me on this particular Sunday morning. That, and I’m using the world’s worst laptop keyboard. Alas, both the Macbook and Surface Book are not with me this weekend.

Instead, I’m going to share eight articles that have been meaningful for me in recent months. I am a big fan of long reads, so all of these are LONG. Reader beware! A friend mentioned to me the other day that I’m a “dinosaur who still reads articles and books, in a good way.” Love that comment, and I’m a card-carrying Pocket user, so I embrace it.

I’ve re-read several of these articles and hope that you enjoy them, too. Since I save articles all the time, let me know if you want more recommendations on a particular topic — I’m happy to provide.

“The essential eight”

Life is a video game–here are the cheat codes. Mark Manson is a great writer. This piece has been instrumental to my life in recent months. Nothing brand new, but he has a gift for putting it all together in a succinct way. If you read just one article, read this.

Storytelling vs. Movie Essence. Hulk is one of my favorite movie critics. He’s extremely analytical and introspective. He’s also deeply influenced how I watch movies, and which movies I want to watch. Part Logan review, part think piece for why we examine movies, it’s the perfect read for a lazy weekend.

An incomplete list of my failures. It’s rare to see someone completely open up about their failures. Not in a “my startup didn’t work out” kind of way, but in a “I really hurt this person on a permanent level” kind of way. It’s heartbreaking and beautifully written.

You are NOT a software engineer! Love love LOVE this analogy: programmers tend to think of themselves as engineers, but they are actually gardeners. Gardening is a metaphor that actually works, and you’ll know why after you read this.

The tragic story of a Texas teen and the marines who killed him for no reason. Sometimes, bad things happen to innocent people. The War on Drugs has real consequences, and this is one gut-wrenching example.

Steve Kerr’s absence: the true test of a leader. A great read, and not just for sports fans. The way Kerr makes his influence felt is essential reading for any business environment, not just the locker room.

Kumail Nanjiani’s culture-clash comedy. You may know Kumail from his recurring role on Silicon Valley, and he’s great in it, but he is so much more than cariacature. True comedy comes from the seriousness and pain that is real life. I’m really looking forward to watching his upcoming semi-autobiographical movie.

“He didn’t fit the mold of a revolutionary”. What is Tiger Woods’ legacy? The star has fallen, but we have always made him to be much more than he truly is — or wants to be. Humans are flawed and complicated, and this piece raises questions about how we create narratives of famous people.

What else is going on in my life? Just learning to relax and smell the roses.

The Beijing weather has been great. Enjoying the outdoors, even if it’s 38 degress Celsius. Just played some full court basketball yesterday in the blistering sun, and I feel great.

On the reading front, I’ve been struggling to finish Lolita. It’s beautifully written, but the topic matter is not exactly my cup of tea. But since I’m over halfway through, I might as well finish it.

Work has been going well. New project, new team members. I’m learning every day how to add value to the team.

I can’t believe we are almost halfway through the calendar year. Time waits for no one, and we must all seize the day.

Peace,

James

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